Rock Cuts of Chaffey's Locks
For every trestle along the way, there were many more rock cuts.
The top of the hills were drilled and blasted by hand and the rubble mucked
out by manpower and horsepower. It wasn't possible to bring
in the steam shovels. All photos are courtesy of Mrs. L. Coon Henson
from her uncle's photo collection.
In the above photo, the trees have been cleared. Holes have been
drilled by hand into the rock, filled with dynamite and blasted.
"Mucking" operations have been started and the rubble is being dumped into
the valley to create a roadbed.
Excavation work has started on the rock cut with the rubble starting
to form the roadbed for the track. Notice that all of this fill is
granite-hard rock - typical of the rock of the Canadian Shield. In
the forefront, a team of horses under the guidance of the "teamster" starts
back to the face of the rock cut after dumping a load of rubble.
Here's a clear photo that shows how this material was excavated.
Rails were placed on wooden logs on the excavated ground and "stone boats"
lifted onto the tracks. The stone boats were filled by hand and horses
hauled their load to the end of the fill in the previous photo. The
spoil would be dumped and the process would be repeated. Notice the
"frog" in the above photo.